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LIBRARY
Free Library of Philadelphia - Central Branch
1901 Vine St. Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-686-5322
  • Calendar
    Upcoming events
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      The Cuban Music Project: Alma Vieja/Alma Nueva
    • Wednesday, April 26, 2017
    • Learn about the Fleisher Collection's Cuban Music Project: Alma Vieja/Alma Nueva through an exhibit featuring images from curator Gary Galván's two trips down to Cuba, Cuban instruments, an interactive digital map, musical samples, a newly engraved score that the Collection produced, and more. This exhibit is on display outside the Fleisher Collection on the first floor.
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      Gumshoe Immersive Theater Experience
    • Wednesday, April 26, 2017
    • Something preposterous is happening at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Come help unravel it. An exhibition has opened containing the original manuscript of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," the very first detective story. Your guides, members of the Library staff, are behaving... well... strangely. New Paradise Laboratories invites you into an immersive adventure in detection. "Gumshoe" is also an expedition into the treasures of the great Parkway Central Library. It will blend disguise, subterfuge, infiltration, half-truths, and bald-faced lies, to get to the bottom of a crime that hasn't yet happened. Venture through secret doors and down escape hatches, both real and imagined, into the underbelly of the building. The truth of life is its mystery.
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      Writer's Workshop
    • Wednesday, April 26, 2017
    • Join, Robert Covington of the Philadelphia 76ers and Jordan Hicks of the Philadelphia Eagles at a live Writer's Draft. The draft calls upon students in the greater Philadelphia area to work in teams to write and illustrate original books for the 2017 Student Book Scholars contest sponsored by the National Youth Foundation. Free books for the first 100 kids.
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      David Callahan: The Givers: Wealth, Power, & Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age
    • Thursday, April 27, 2017
    • Blending liberalism with old values, David Callahan's many nonfiction books include "Fortunes of Change," "The Moral Center," and "The Cheating Culture." He is founder of the website Inside Philanthropy and co-founder of the think-tank Demos, a frequent media commentator, and has contributed articles to the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post. "The Givers" delves into the secretive realm of elite philanthropists and the ways they shape governmental policy.
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      John Waters: Make Trouble
    • Saturday, April 29, 2017
    • Storied director John Waters, affectionately dubbed the "Pope of Trash" by William Burroughs, is known for films such as "Pink Flamingos," "Hairspray," "Cry Baby" and "Cecil B. Demented." Today he'll be discussing his new book, a manifesto for all those who seek happiness on their own terms.
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      Elizabeth Strout: Anything Is Possible
    • Monday, May 1, 2017
    • Possessed of "a magnificent gift for humanizing characters," (San Francisco Chronicle), Elizabeth Strout won the Pulitzer Prize for the 2008 bestseller "Olive Kitteridge," a linked collection of narratives about a woman in coastal Maine. It was adapted into a multi-Emmy-winning HBO miniseries starring Frances McDormand. Her bestselling novel "My Name is Lucy Barton" told the story of an estranged mother and daughter's reconnection. Written in tandem with that book, "Anything is Possible" is a latticework of fiction that fleshes out the lives of the inhabitants of Lucy Barton's little town.
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      Intersection of Religious & Civic Life: An Interfaith Panel
    • Tuesday, May 2, 2017
    • The library will be hosting an Interfaith Panel on the intersection of civic engagement and religious beliefs across various faiths. This free event is open to the public on a first come basis, but seating is limited. There will be introductions of the participants, questions from the moderator, then Q and A from the audience. Program is located on the 4th floor of the Parkway Central Library, room 405\406\407.
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      Gabourey Sidibe: This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare
    • Thursday, May 4, 2017
    • Gabourey Sidibe received a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for her debut role in the 2009 film "Precious," based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire. Sidibe won instant fame for her heartbreaking portrayal of the movie's title character. Since then she has appeared on three seasons of "American Horror Story," was a cast member of the Showtime series "The Big C," has hosted Saturday Night Live and appeared in several films. Today she joins broadcaster and journalist Tracey Matisak to discuss her memoir.
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      Jo Nesbo: The Thirst: A Harry Hole Novel
    • Tuesday, May 9, 2017
    • Starring a hard-bitten and self-destructive maverick Oslo police detective, Jo Nesbø's "maddeningly addictive" (Vanity Fair) Harry Hole novels have sold more than 23 million copies and have been translated into more than 50 languages. A musician, songwriter, economist, and former professional soccer player, the Norwegian native is the recipient of the Glass Key Award for best Nordic crime novel. In "The Thirst," Nesbø's 11th installment in the Harry Hole series, the titular protagonist hunts for a nemesis from his past as he investigates a serial killer who targets Tinder daters.
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      Philadelphia Shakespeare Company: Hamlet
    • Wednesday, May 10, 2017
    • "Hamlet" is the most studied, most performed, and most adapted of Shakespeare's plays by far, possibly of any play ever. There are many explanations for the centuries of popularity, but in the end it comes down to the fact that Shakespeare managed to somehow pack all the ambiguity, complexity and messiness of real life into a story, without losing the narrative structure and focus a story requires. The play deals in grand, universal themes: coping with loss and betrayal, the need to know the truth, the complexity of human desire, the parent-child relationship -- and it examines those themes in human sized form. Come see a 90-minute production presented by The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia, then stick around for a post-performance discussion.
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      Paula Poundstone: The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness
    • Thursday, May 11, 2017
    • Paula Poundstone's decades-long stand-up comedy career has included multiple HBO specials, an Emmy Award, two comedy albums, and an American Comedy Award for Best Female Stand-Up. Renowned for her self-effacing wit and cheeky observations, she is a frequent panelist on NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me" and a recurring guest on "A Prairie Home Companion." In her new book, Poundstone embarks on a series of diverse adventures in search of long-term happiness.
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      China Mieville: October: The Story of the Russian Revolution
    • Tuesday, May 16, 2017
    • Acclaimed for his "unparalleled inventiveness" (Chicago Tribune), China Miéville is the author of a score of fantasy novels, comics, novellas, short story collections, Marxist nonfiction, and essay collections. Associated with the "New Weird" writing movement, his books include "This Census-Taker," "Railsea," "The City & The City," and "Perdido Street Station." A contributor to The New York Times, The Guardian, Granta, and a founding editor of the quarterly Salvage, he has won the Hugo, World Fantasy, and Arthur C. Clarke awards. In October, Miéville plunges into the extraordinary 1917 political tumult that led to the creation of the world's first socialist state.
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      We the Detectives Family Event
    • Sunday, May 21, 2017
    • Join the Free Library of Philadelphia for a fun-filled, kid-friendly morning. This very special fundraising event at the Parkway Central Library supports the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation, while giving you and your family a unique experience in the iconic beaux-arts building. Enjoy art projects, games, storytelling, a scavenger hunt, food and plenty of books.
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      Zydeco-A-Go-Go
    • Sunday, May 21, 2017
    • Zydeco-A-Go-Go is a five-piece dance band specializing in Zydeco, Cajun and New Orleans rhythm and blues, vintage Louisiana rock and roll, 1960's soul, plus big band jazz, jump-blues, and swing.
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      Mysterious Travelers Featuring Ross Bellenoit
    • Monday, May 22, 2017
    • The Free Library of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Jazz Project invite you to a third season of free concerts: Mysterious Travelers 3 : Internal Investigations. This time they're turning inward to explore, through sound, the collections that constitute the Parkway Central Library. Every third Monday from September 2016 through May 2017, emerging and veteran musicians, all calling Philadelphia home, will debut new works.
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      An Introduction to Sake
    • Tuesday, May 23, 2017
    • Many people think sake is rice wine. That's not quite true. This traditional Japanese alcoholic drink is closer to beer than wine and is brewed in a complex process by master brewers called toji. Join sake sommelier, Jamie Graves, and taste your way through an introduction to the bold, fragrant, and aromatic flavors of this often underestimated drink. Learn how sake is made, how to serve it, and what to taste for when drinking it, while enjoying an assortment of perfectly paired snacks.
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      William Hogeland: Autumn of the Black Snake
    • Tuesday, May 23, 2017
    • Historian William Hogeland, author of "The Whiskey Rebellion," visits with his latest book. In "Autumn of the Black Snake," Hogeland tells the story of the creation of the U.S. Army and how its first victory against the indigenous people of the Ohio Valley opened the way to western settlement.
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      Joshua Ferris: The Dinner Party
    • Wednesday, May 24, 2017
    • "Then We Came to the End," Joshua Ferris' debut novel, won the 2008 PEN/Hemingway Award for best first novel and was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has published fiction in Granta, Prairie Schooner, and Best American Voices, among other places. "The Dinner Party" is his first short story collection.
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